Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Police should force Occupy Toronto protesters out, Hudak says

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak delivers his concession speech at his election-night headquarters in Niagara Falls on Oct. 6, 2011.

MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says the police should be called in to force Occupy Toronto protesters to leave their makeshift camp in the city's downtown.

Mr. Hudak threw his support behind Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who also said last week that it is time for the protesters to leave their makeshift camp. But he appeared to go further than the mayor, who did not provide details of how he plans to end the weeks-long protest at St. James Park.

"I just don't believe anybody has a right to permanently occupy a public park," Mr. Hudak told reporters on Monday, adding that he would support Mr. Ford if the city decides to call in the police. "They got their message out there," he said. "It's time for the protest to come to an end."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Hudak is the only provincial leader in Ontario who has spoken out against a protest movement that is facing mounting challenges as it enters its fourth week in several Canadian cities.

The encampment in Vancouver has been rocked by the death of a woman from a drug overdose, as well as a violent confrontation between police and protesters. The city's bid to end the protest has been stalled in court, attracting growing animosity from local businesses and residents.

Police in London, Ont., cleared out the protesters last Wednesday, and authorities in Victoria and Calgary are also preparing to take action.

In Toronto, city officials say they visit the encampment of about 100 tents daily and have found no health and safety issues. But local merchants complain business is suffering as people are steering clear of the area.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has said he is leaving it up to local government to decide how to handle the protest.

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said police should not be called in to end the protest. The movement, she told reporters on Monday, provides an opportunity for people "who feel like they've been left out of the equation" to have a voice in uncertain economic times.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Karen Howlett is a national reporter based in Toronto. She returned to the newsroom in 2013 after covering Ontario politics at The Globe’s Queen’s Park bureau for seven years. Prior to that, she worked in the paper’s Vancouver bureau and in The Report on Business, where she covered a variety of beats, including financial services and securities regulation. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.